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Quantum Fields & String MSc by Research

Course Description

The Physics department is always keen to attract high-quality postgraduate students to join our research groups.

The MSc by Research Quantum Fields and String enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The MSc by Research would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree.

You will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work.

Key Features

Swansea is a research led University to which the Physics department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a postgraduate Physics student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.

The Department received top ratings of 4* and 3* in the 2008 RAE, which classified our research as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of its originality, significance and rigour.

The two main research groups within the Department of Physics currently focus on the following areas of research:

Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group

Fundamental Atomic Physics
Condensed Matter and Material Physics
Analytical Laser Spectroscopy

Particle Physics Theory Group

String theory, quantum gravity and the AdS/CFT correspondence
Lattice gauge theories, QCD
Supersymmetric field theory, perturbative gauge theory
Field Theory in curved spacetime
Physics beyond the standard model

Links with Industry

Our two research groups, Particle Physics Theory (PPT) and Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics (AMQP), deliver impact with commercial benefits both nationally and internationally, complemented by a public engagement programme with a global reach.

Economic impacts are realised by the Department’s Analytical Laser Spectroscopy Unit (ALSU) which, since 1993, has worked with companies developing products eventually sold to customers in the nuclear power industry and military, both in the UK and overseas, and in the global aerospace industry. Computational particle physics work performed by the PPT group has spun-off a computer benchmarking tool, BSMBench, used by several leading software outfits, and has led to the establishment of a start-up company.

The AMQP group’s work on trapping and investigating antihydrogen has generated great media interest and building on this we have developed a significant and on-going programme of public engagement. Activities include the development of a bespoke software simulator (Hands on Antihydrogen) of the antimatter experiment for school students.


As a postgraduate student in the Department of Physics you will have access to the following Specialist Facilities:

Low-energy positron beam with a high field superconducting magnet for the study of
CW and pulsed laser systems
Scanning tunnelling electron and nearfield optical microscopes
Raman microscope
CPU parallel cluster
Access to the IBM-built ‘Blue C’ Super computer at Swansea University and is part of the shared use of the teraflop QCDOC facility based in Edinburgh


The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that over 80% of the research outputs from both the experimental and theoretical groups were judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Research groups include:

AMQP Group

The Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics Group comprises academic staff, postdoctoral officers and postgraduate research students. Its work is supported by grants from EPSRC, the EU, The Royal Society, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and various industrial and government sources. There are two main fields of research: Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics and Nanoscale Physics.

PPT Group

The Particle Physics Theory Group has fourteen members of staff, in addition to postdoctoral officers and research students. It is the fourth largest particle physics theory group in the UK, and is supported mainly by STFC, but also has grants from EPSRC, the EU, Royal Society and Leverhulme Trust. The group recently expanded by hiring two theoretical cosmologists (Ivonne Zavala and Gianmassimo Tasinato). There are five main fields of research: Quantum Field Theory, Strings, Lattice Field Theory, Beyond the Standard Model Physics and Theoretical Cosmology.

Visit the Quantum Fields & String MSc by Research page on the Swansea University website for more details!

All Available Videos:

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the Quantum Fields & String MSc by Research normally require a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in physics or a related field. English language requirement IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) or Swansea University recognised equivalent.

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